Canyon County Voters Resoundingly Reject Jail Bond

May 22, 2019

Around 15% of Canyon County voters went to the polls Tuesday. They voted down a bond measure that would've funded a new jail by a two-thirds majority.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Voters in Canyon County went to the polls Tuesday and overwhelmingly rejected a bond initiative that would’ve funded a new jail.

Whether you call it a landslide or a blowout, the $187 million bond to fund a new jail for the region lost by a two-thirds majority. Over 9,300 ballots were cast against the bond that would’ve overhauled the problematic current facility which suffers from overcrowding and has seen numerous escapes in recent years.

Turnout in the election was low – unofficial results find just 15% of registered voters in Canyon County went to the polls.

This latest attempt at passing a bond to address the jail was the first time voters weighed in on the issue since 2010, the Statesman reports. It was the fourth time a bond measure relating to a new correctional facility has been on a ballot in the county since 2006.

Leaders in Canyon County adamantly made their case for the measure in the run-up to the election. Residents were invited to ask questions about the bond and a new jail at town hall meetings in Nampa, Middleton, Wilder and other communities. The county commissioners themselves fielded questions at three separate events. A primary concern voters raised was how much the new bond would impact property taxes.

Ahead of Tuesday’s election, county leaders said they would be open to putting another jail bond measure before voters this November.

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